Assessing winter kill and what you can do about it: forage rejuvenation webinar February 13


Winter kill shown on the left. Photo submitted by Graeme Finn.

Several factors can influence the abundance of winter kill each year. This webinar will discuss how to assess winter kill in alfalfa and other species, and identify the next steps to rejuvenate the forage.

Registering on your smartphone? After you click ‘I am not a robot’, scroll up until you find the task to complete.

When
Thursday, February 13th at 7:00 pm MT

  • 6:00pm in BC
  • 7:00pm in AB
  • 8:00pm in SK and MB
  • 9:00pm in ON and QC
  • 10:00pm in NS, NB and PEI

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New $2.35-M USask research chair targets improved health and productivity in beef herds



Saskatoon, SK – With $2.35 million from the federal government and the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC), University of Saskatchewan (USask) veterinary researcher Dr. Cheryl Waldner will undertake a major five-year research program to advance beef cattle health and productivity, helping to sustain the profitability and competitiveness of Canada’s $17-billion-a-year beef industry.


USask veterinary researcher Dr. Cheryl Waldner is the new NSERC/BCRC Industrial Research Chair in One Health and Production-Limiting Diseases. Photo: Amanda Waldner

“This timely and cutting-edge research builds on our university’s strengths in agriculture and ‘One Health’ to help advance the livestock industry’s economic contributions to the country and ensure continued consumer confidence in the safety and quality of Canadian beef,” said USask President Peter Stoicheff in announcing the new chair Jan. 30.

The $750,000 award from the federal Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) is matched by $750,000 in producer check-off funding from the BCRC. USask is contributing $850,000. Continue reading

Improving your vision for the 2020 production year: New tools for on-farm record keeping in cow-calf operations



Are you curious about which areas of your operation are excelling? Or which areas of your operation that might need some work?

Are you interested in record keeping but not sure where to start?

Successful farm management begins with accurate and up to date records. The process of record keeping allows the farm manager to collect and save data so it can be analyzed and used to make better decisions and turn information into actions.

It is important for producers to identify what information is needed to support you in making management decisions. While collecting, maintaining, and analyzing records requires an investment in time, the ability to make decisions based on a known history of your particular farm is valuable. Dr. Harlan Hughes’ analysis of North Dakota cow/calf operations showed that those actively using their own farm data tended to have lower unit costs of production per pound of calf weaned. The operations that were using their own data were also the most profitable over time. The more information producers gather on their operations, the more efficient the knowledge and management of your herd becomes.



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Alternative Feeds: New Web Page



On most cattle operations, feed represents the largest single variable input cost. Livestock producers continually examine ways to reduce this cost and explore options to efficiently and safely feed their livestock. While hay, pasture, other forages and grains make up the largest component of livestock feed, there are many alternative feeds that can supplement and even improve the diet. Cost effective procurement of non-conventional feeds can increase profitability across the operation.

When faced with reduced supplies of good quality hay due to declining production acres and weather events such as late spring frosts, excessive rains or drought, many producers seek alternative feeds for their livestock. While these alternative feed sources can offer flexibility and low-cost options, feed testing and advice from a livestock nutritionist is recommended to ensure nutritional requirements of the type of cattle being fed are being met. Continue reading

Transportation Regulations are Changing

This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the January 2020 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.


Photo Credit to Agriculture Agri-Food Canada

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency will start phasing in its enforcement of Canada’s revised livestock transportation regulations on February 20. One of the most significant changes for cattle transporters is a reduction in the maximum time in transit before cattle must be off-loaded for feed, water and rest. Currently, cattle can be transported for 48 hours before a mandatory five-hour feed, water and rest stop. There is one exception; if a truck is less than four hours from its final destination when it reaches the 48-hour mark, it can continue to its destination without a rest stop. On February 20, this changes to a maximum of 36 hours before an eight-hour feed, water and rest stop, with no four-hour grace period. This change will likely have the greatest impact on feeder cattle and truckers travelling from Western to Central Canada, and cattle travelling from Central to Western Canada for slaughter.

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Buying Power: Bull Selection to Improve Your Bottom Line

If it hasn’t happened already, soon your mailboxes and inboxes will be filling up with catalogues for this year’s bull sales. How can you identify which bull is going to work best for your operation? Purchasing the best bull for your operation’s needs starts with good record keeping to identify your operation’s strengths and weaknesses. From there you can work to narrow down your search based on your breeding system, genetic goals and budget. The following tips can help guide you in the process of purchasing your next herd sire.

It’s not one size fits all when it comes to bull buying.

Breeding programs will be determined by operational goals and the management practices that fit those goals. A farm that auctions their calves at weaning may choose a crossbreeding program with high performance, while a farm that direct markets their beef may prefer the uniformity of a single breed.

There are many different types of bulls available, and effective sire selection requires an understanding of the available genetics as well as your own operation. Aiming for complementarity of the bull’s genetics to your current cow herd and fit with your operational goals will contribute to increased revenue and reduced costs. Continue reading

2019 Highlights and Deliverables



The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is Canada’s industry-led funding agency for beef, cattle and forage research. Our mandate is to

  • determine and communicate the Canadian beef cattle industry’s research and development priorities, and
  • administer the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off funds that have been assigned by producers to research.

The BCRC invites and funds projects and initiatives that have the greatest potential to benefit the sustainability and competitiveness of Canada’s beef industry. The BCRC is led by a committee of beef producers who proportionally represent each province’s research allocation of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off.

2018 was a transition year for the BCRC in terms of both funding and program administration. An increase in the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off from $1 to $2.50 per head in most provinces and revised allocations to research has grown the BCRC’s research budget from approximately 15 cents to approximately 75 cents per head, allowing for continued advancements and expanded programming in 2019. More information on the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-Off can be found at www.cdnbeefcheckoff.ca/. Continue reading